Thursday, May 23, 2013

Race Photos

I had to pay like 8 bucks a piece for these professional race photos, but I just couldn't help myself... they looked too epic to pass up.

I like how my face looks in all of these. I look super serious and focused, but really I was having a good time, I was just tired.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Warrior Dash Oklahoma

Completed my second warrior dash Oklahoma today! It was really fun, my family and I all had a blast as always. The warrior dash never disappoints.

(My family before the race)

My day went like this...

Woke up at 6:30, ate a hearty bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter, and finished packing my suitcase. Met my parents at 8:30, then left from Mulvane KS and headed to Oklahoma. Once we finally got to the area where the race was, found parking, and got checked in to get our race bibs and shirts it's was really starting to heat up. By the time we got in line for our 2:00 heat, the temperature was already a scorching 100 degrees. Luckily, we had worked out way to the front of the starting gate, so we would be at the front of our heat. We all chugged a bunch of water waiting in line trying to stay hydrated. I just kept starring at the time clock above the starting line, waiting anxiously for the time to pass so I could unleash all of this energy I had building up. As the time winded down I started up my GPS watch, gave myself a little mental pep talk, and counted down the remaining seconds, 3.. 2.. 1... fire shot out of the top of the starting line, and I could feel the heat as I ran under it to taking off.

The very first thing was a big hill we ran up, then about a half a mile winding through a grass field. a little after the first mile mark, there was an extremely steep hill. One so steep that no one ran up it, everyone had to just walk to keep their footing. Then there were numerous other obstacles, such as climbing over barricades, crawling under barber wire through trenches, swimming through neck high water and climbing over floating obstacles, balancing and walking across beans over muddy water, and jumping over fire pits. By the time you get to the finish you are completely soaked, covered head to toe in mud, and typically pretty scraped up. It was so fun, and I love and earned each and every one of my battle scars.

I ended up finishing 10th in my age group our of 193 other girls, so I am pretty pleased. The warrior dash was fun last year, a blast this year, and certainly a must for next summer as well. My family is awesome, I couldn't ask for more amazing people to spend my weekend with.

(My mom and I after getting cleaned up)

Friday, May 10, 2013

12 Miles

Finished my first twelve mile run today. I finished around and hour and 50 minutes, averaging about a 9:10 minute mile pace. The weather was ideal, in the 50's, cloudy, and a light cool breeze. Last week when I ran 10 miles the weather was terrible. It was in like 35 degrees, it rained on me the whole time, and the wind was cold and stung my skin. The only thing good about these crappy runs is that it prepares you for the worst. Sure I hope that I show up on race day to ideal, beautiful weather... but mother nature does whatever the heck it wants to, so you have to be trained and ready to deal with whatever it decides to throw at you. Plus, as much as I hate long runs in crappy weather, I still think they are way better than running on a treadmill. I hate running on treadmills, it takes all of the fun out of running and just turns it into numbers. Plus, you can't naturally allow your body to adjust the pace while you run (I actually tend to run faster outside than indoors anyways.)

Today during my long run, I thought about a lot of things. I thought about the fact that here in a few more months I will be logging 50-60 miles a week, and doing 20 mile long runs training for my first full marathon. I thought about where I started and how far I have come. I'm still kind of amazed. If you would have told me a year ago that I would soon be logging 25 miles a week and doing 12 miles long runs around a 9 minute mile pace, I would have probably looked at you like you were crazy. If you would have then proceeded to tell me that I would be doing it all on a completely plant based diet, I probably would have just laughed and replied with a skeptical "yeah... okay." It's amazing how much we can change if we decide we want to better ourselves.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What Running Has Taught Me

Running, as most people know, is a challenging activity. It requires you to be tough not only physically, but mentally as well. Distance runners are not merely successful because they are in good shape and log a lot of miles every week, they are also successful because they have the strength and the power to overcome all of the pain and fatigue, and keep pushing on even when they know they can stop.

Running teaches us so many things. It's extremely natural and primitive, and humans were meant to run. The great thing about running is that the further you run, the more it strips you down to who you really are. You can put on a fake front for others, or even yourself as much as you want, but when it's just you and the pavement for 12 miles who you really are surfaces.

Running allows us to push ourselves, to teach ourselves discipline, and most of all to learn who we really are. Most people underestimate themselves. I know I did for a long time saying things like "I just wasn't born athletic" or "I could never run 13 miles!". But the truth is I am athletic, strong, powerful, fast, and have come to realize that not only can I run 13 miles, but I can run 26.2. Sure, sometimes I have to push myself and not allow myself to give in and stop. Sure sometimes I'm exhausted and don't think I can go on... but I can. "Your brain is always ready to give up way before your legs ever are."

Personally, running has taught me discipline. It has taught me that I am stronger and smarter than I have ever given myself credit for. It has taught me that with perseverance, I really can do anything I set my mind to if I want it badly enough. So I plan to continue to push my boundaries. I plan to continue increasing my mileage, my speed, and my love of the most natural and God-given freedom this world has to offer. Because running isn't just a time for me to reflect, get outside and enjoy nature, sweat my ass off, or even escape all of the day to day stress and worry of life(although those are all reasons that get my ass out of bed every morning at 6am for my morning run) ... it's a chance for me to realize how amazing God has made me, and how much I am capable of... and I think that's pretty awesome.